About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother's Day Madness

It is June now, almost a month since Mother's Day has come and gone. 
I was afraid to write how I was feeling, for fear that it would jinx me. 

 The first m-day after my son was born, my (now) MIL gave me a small bouquet of spring flowers she cut from her garden when we were at their house for a gathering. She wanted to acknowledge me as a mother too. (this was before she had any other grandchildren) I don't remember what I did or what I said. I think it made me cry - as I did not consider myself to be a mother. Whatever my reaction was, it caused her to never do it again. 

Which is a shame, because it is what every original mom needs, to be acknowledged as a mother.

Inside I appreciated the gesture and have never forgotten it over the years. 

M-day has always been hard personally, not as hard as his birthday, but pretty close to it. There are advertisements for m-day weeks in advance. It's on the radio, tv, billboards, and all over the newspapers! It's inescapable. On m-day I'd wake up. When I washed my face I would look in the mirror and hate the woman staring back at me. M-day was a mockery of how much of a failure I'd become. 

The adoption industry wants people to believe that we 'get over it' or 'move on'. 
But we don't. 

Adoption leaves a deep wound inside that nothing can heal or mend. I often find myself riddled with guilt from the past and fear the future -if I will ever find my child again? If I find him, will he allow us to be a part of his adult life? Will he hate me (as much as I hate myself)? 

 Oh, and you can't go anywhere on m-day, not out to eat or to any stores, because everyone is so eager to wish you Happy Mother's Day! or If you're a mother, we'll give you a carnation. 

 I participate in an on-line support group for original moms only. And prior to m-day this year I posted a thread asking how others deal with m-day? On my reply about how I deal with m-day, it's been avoidance all the way! I don't torture myself by going to church and pretending everything's just fine, when I know very well it isn't. Why go and just sit there holding back the tears and wishing it was over soon! 

I don't even send my own mom m-day cards anymore - because I won't make myself go to a hallmark store and read card after card about how wonderful and loving moms are. Just can't do it. 

So I pretend it doesn't exist, at least for me it doesn't. 

Past two years my Hubby has finally seen how painful it is for me and he at least gets me a card letting me know that he loves me. He is definitely the greatest guy on earth, and I'm lucky, so incredibly lucky he's stood beside me through it all. 

 Another member of the Cheerios Group replied with a statement that immediately struck me. She ended her reply with, "...I do feel bad if I am "unacknowledged" by my daughter's amom on that day. I make a point to send her a card & letter so she will know I am thinking of and appreciating her." 

The word "unacknowledged" has a new meaning to me this year than it did former years. 

This new perspective came from the tragic loss of our baby last fall. One of the things that hurt me the most is when people did not acknowledge the loss. My company for example - 3 day bereavement didn't "count" for my unborn baby. My boss who sends flowers to co-workers when their is a loss in their family (even if it's not immediate family, such as an in-law), did not send flowers or a card or even tell the team of my loss. The 'friends' I called after losing her, and they never once bothered to check back on me - not a phone call, not a card, not even an e-mail or message on fb. 

So I am very in-tune with the unacknowledged feeling. 
It is very fresh to me now. 

What I've had to do with those people - was basically dismiss them. I had to realize that they are not true friends that I believed them to be. Therefore, I've had to bump their status in my life. For now their thoughts mean nothing to me. Their excuses are lame and as worthless as watered down milk. I don't count on them at all. So, when she responded, the Acknowledged vs Unacknowledged immediately surfaced inside of me. It was like an immediate transformation that I felt inside as I replied with the following: "unacknowledged

yeah, Mamba- - maybe that's the crux of what eats at me. I AM unacknowledged - Yes, I am a mother, but not to the majority in my life who don't know I have a teenage son 'out there somewhere'. And to the rest who know about him (mostly family) , they don't think about it. BECAUSE they don't think of me as a mother.

Thanks Mamba-. I think you helped me a LOT. This is where I can change my future...

I need to stop accepting the projections people put on me. I KNOW who and what I am. My Husband knows who and what I am. We both know what it has done to me (&us) so who cares what they think or how they do OR DON"T view me.

I don't think I realized this until now. Thanks for helping me see the forest AND the trees!" And this is how I approached m-day this year. I don't need anyone else to acknowledge my motherhood. It all starts with me. I know the truth of it all. And even if others don't consider me to be a mother, that can't steal motherhood away from me. 

An expression I've heard before is that adoption cannot make someone an unmother. 
Whether his family likes it or not, my son has two mothers, and I am one of them. 
Whether his family likes it or not, my son has two fathers, and my husband is one of them. 

I don't care if people don't know, or don't understand, or misunderstand. THEIR OPINION doesn't count to me anymore! I know who and what I am, and they (whoever they are) can't change that! Shortly after writing this, I shared it with my hubby. His reply was honest and humorous as he said, "I don't understand what you just said, but it sounds like it's a good thing." And a good thing it has turned out to be. M-day 2010 was the very first m-day I did not shrivel in on myself and wish to die and merely survive the day. I overcame it!
Mother's Day it's Their Madness NOT MINE!


  1. Oh Cheerio ~ you are SO right! It truly is the being unacknowledged that hurts so bad!! I'm so glad that you overcame Mother's Day this year.


  2. Cheerio-next year you should go buy yourself a card for Mother's Day. Because you ARE a Mother, and not having your children with you does not make you less of one. The fact that you love both your son and the child that was miscarried GIVES you a Mother's heart, and once a woman has one, it is forever vulnerable to pain. Even for Mothers that were able to keep their children. I am glad that your husband supports you as he does because you deserve that, along with the love from everyone around you, including yourself. I know you feel bad because you relenquished your son, but you have been paying for it and that is why I love you. Because you care about what you did, and how it may affect him. You are a beautiful person Cheerio. You are human, you are humble, you are mature, and if I could send you a card for Mother's Day to acknowledge you, that is what I would write......